Competitors Ireland and Wotherspoon

Wotherspoon talk talk talk 2006-02-13
Originally uploaded by Points North.

What makes a competitor win? After his infamous splat on the ice in 2002, Jeremy Wotherspoon picked himself up, started working with a psychologist on his mental game and winning competitions...until the Olympics today. He did OK in his first run, pictured coming up to the start line here on HDCBC. He had a chance to medal if he skated superbly in the second round. Instead he folded and was one of the few top speed skaters to post a worse score the second time around instead of a better one. He was 9th.

In contrast, Mike Ireland skated to 7th place -- despite not having fully recovered from a concussion and not being considered a contender. This placement is impressive given that apparently every time he exercises he gets dizzy. Imagine doing those turns at 60+kph dizzy? Yet he beat Wotherspoon.

The above photo of Wotherspoon says it all. When it comes to the ultimate high-pressure oval of the Olympics, he's out.


Update: And then there are the Chinese figure skaters. They are TOUGH. The female Zhang ought to be given a medal for bravery for getting back on the ice after a gut-hurling fall and winning a silver with her partner in the pairs.

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